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Rose Cottage,

Potters Hill,

Wheatcroft Nr. Matlock,

Derbyshire, DE45PH.


Well Dressing

Main towns: Ashford-in-the-Water, Tissington

Well Dressing festivals are held at different villages from Spring to october. The Tourist Information Centre will be able to advise exactly where and when the Well Dressings are to take place. This beautiful old custom is all but unique to Derbyshire. Once known as 'well flowering', it's thought to have originated in Pagan times.

Springs and wells have always been valued because water is a basic necessity of every day life, but the early Christians forbade pagan water worship. Gradually however, the custom was revived and many ancient springs were purified and re­dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary or to one of the Saints.

Well dressing is the art of decorating well or springs with pictures made from natural, growing things i@t isn't always a well or spring which is decorated. It can be @street tap or the place where a well used to stand.

The dressings are based on wooden frames and the pictures are set in clay filled wooden trays. They take hours to complete, often with villagers working through the night to finish in the early hours of the festival morning.

Some villages dress their wells in secret. Others invite you to come along and watch - the best way to find out how it's done!